LA CRESCENTA — No matter where a Hoover High boys' basketball player stood on the court, they rarely appeared comfortable being guarded by Crescenta Valley.
Passes were deflected or stolen and shots were sometimes altered. It translated into frustration for Hoover and elation for Crescenta Valley on Monday.
“I thought our defense did a good job, especially in the second half,” said Crescenta Valley guard Cole Currie, who finished with a game-high 23 points to help host Crescenta Valley roll to a 69-36 Pacific League victory against Hoover. “It helps you in transition to offense by playing smart defensively and I thought we did that well.”
Crescenta Valley (14-4, 5-0 in league) forced Hoover (9-8, 1-4) to commit 13 turnovers. Three of them came in the first quarter, which featured a 15-0 run by the Falcons to grab a 15-4 advantage.
The Falcons, ranked No. 6 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division I-A poll, never looked back. Crescenta Valley limited Hoover to 16 second-half points.
The Tornadoes, who entered the game fresh off beating Arcadia in a league contest Friday, struggled to get in sync Monday.
“We couldn’t score and it just seemed to multiply,” Hoover Coach Jack Van Patten said. “CV played well and really shot the ball well.
“We never got anything going both ways and things just snowballed.”
Currie enjoyed another big scoring effort. In five league games, he’s averaging a team-best 22.8 points.
“We knew we had to jump on them because they have the type of team that can come back,” Currie said. “This year, I think the league is a lot tougher and there’s a lot of parity.”
Currie made a three-pointer to give Crescenta Valley a 10-4 lead with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter. Crescenta Valley built its lead to 15-4 before Hoover’s Ando Adjemian made a three-pointer to make it 15-7 and end the Falcons’ run with 58 seconds to play in the opening quarter.
“We talked before the game about the first two or three minutes being the most important,” said Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian, who got 12 points from Arin Pezeshkian and 11 from Berj Krikorian. “It can jump-start your momentum and we figured we’d be OK.”
Currie converted on a three-point play to extend the Falcons’ lead to 34-18 with 2:27 left in the second quarter. Crescenta Valley, which got 15 first-half points from Currie, held a 39-20 halftime advantage.
Francis Roncal finished with a team-high 10 points for the Tornadoes, who got eight from Teo Davidian.
Crescenta Valley and Hoover will meet again at 5 p.m. Jan. 30 at Hoover.
Crescenta Valley will take on Pasadena, the defending league champion and No. 13-ranked team in Division I-AA, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Crescenta Valley. Pasadena won the Division III-AAA title last season. Hoover will take on host Burbank at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.